How to Create a Buyer Persona, its Importance and the Points to Keep in Mind

how to create a buyer persona

Are you marketing to the right people? Do you know your audience well and are you pitching your content to the right person?

In my last post I had spoken about some of the experiments that I did in the last 18 months or, so.

One of them involved this product that I and one of my friends had created. We were actually bitten by the product creation bug. So we set out to create this product. When the product was ready, we were so excited with the result that we jumped straight into selling it hoping that we were going to make millions out of it.

We had confidence in the product. We knew it was of great quality and that it was an information that was sought by a lot of people.

We launched the product and waited for the dollars to come in..

But that did not happen.

The wait continued but the results did not change. We got a few sales here and there. But it certainly wasn’t enough..

After spending a lot of time and wasting a lot of money in promotions, we finally decided that it was enough and so called the entire thing off.

But why did this product launch flop?

We got the answer when we looked into our promotions and the audience type that we were promoting the product to.

The one line answer was that we didn’t target the right audience.

There is this course from Andre Chaperon – Auto Responder Madness. If you haven’t gone through it, I would recommend you to do it at the earliest because it is one course you shouldn’t miss.

In one of the chapters in this course he talks about customer avatars. If you wish to know more about it, you can visit frankvsmatt.com

Customer avatar is another name for Buyer Persona.

What is Buyer Persona?

The definition of “Buyer Persona” goes like this.

A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents a segment of your customers that you are planning to target with your product and services.

Though we refer to it as Buyer Persona or Customer Avatar, it need not necessarily mean only buyers or, customer. It can represent anything from the audience you intend to reach with your content (if you are a blogger), the market that you plan to target with your products and services, the type of customers that you wish to market to, etc.

Andre is an advocate of relationship marketing. His style of marketing is different. He builds relationships with his prospects and the relationship is so strong that his audience trusts his recommendations and buys whatever he recommends.

That is how he promotes his products. And because of the style of promotion that he uses, his conversion rates are extremely high.

Auto Responder Madness and Email marketing intensive course teaches how to build this relationship and marketing to your audience.

So when he talks about creating a buyer persona for your market, it stamps its importance. Because it implies that building a buyer persona is in someway important to build a relationship.

I remember reading an article at Digital Marketer about how they had to build a new customer persona for their new digital marketing training product. This is in spite of the fact that they already had ready-made buyer personas for their existing products.

That emphasizes the need for building a persona very specific to the kind of product that you are building.

In fact, it was here that we faltered.

We had a buyer persona which was built for a specific product that my friend has launched earlier. It had done well.

I too, had my own buyer persona for the products that I was promoting.

So we thought we could use that data and promote our product. But we were wrong. We didn’t really market to the right audience and that is where we failed.

The next obvious question is – How to create a Buyer Persona?

How to Create a Buyer Persona?

Let me tell you at the very outset. This activity is a very boring one. If you abandon it in between, you might not be the first one to do it. And you might not be alone too.

Andre’s free course at tinylittlebusiness.com talks in detail about Buyer Persona and how to create a buyer persona.

There are many other free resources which you can use to build a Customer persona, like Hubspot who has a simple online tool called “Make my Persona” which can be used to create a customer persona.

Even Digital marketer has a template that you can use to create a customer avatar.

But let us first look at some very important things to keep in mind when you create a customer avatar.

Consider the Avatar as a Real Person

Put a Name and a Face to Your Buyer Persona!

It is normal for us to quickly skip through things and put together something that we would call an avatar. But it is important to spend some time understanding and evaluating the attributes – both basic and advanced, of how a prospective consumer for your product or, content will look like.

Some of the things that you need to mandatorily have for your buyer persona is –

  • A Name
  • Age
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Professional qualifications
  • A photograph
  • Family – who all
  • Gender
  • Residential location
  • Annual income

These information look unimportant at first look, but all of these are important to put together a visual of how your prospective consumer will look.

Create Multiple Avatars if Required

Create multiple avatars, if you are targeting a wide variety of demographics.

One question that I always had about avatars was – when you are putting a specific age and demographic to an avatar, what about the others whom you are targeting. I am sure a lot of you too would have this question.

So, if you think you have a wide variety of demographics that you are targeting then create multiple avatars. But if the demographics doesn’t change a lot, then do not waste your time doing this.

For eg: you would be targeting John Smith who is between 40-45 yrs old and working with an IT company. Which means that your product wouldn’t ideally be for a retired professional. But it could be somebody who 45-50yrs old or, maybe 35-40yrs old as well. That wouldn’t need a different customer avatar.

So create multiple avatars if your demographics is entirely different.

Create a Negative Avatar

This is something I learnt from Andre and his Frank Vs Matt page. While it is important that you create an ideal customer avatar for your content, it is also important to create a negative customer avatar.

What is a negative customer avatar?

A negative customer avatar is somebody who you do not want to market to. Or, who you think is not an ideal fit for your content, product and services.

This will help you to ensure you are not targeting or, marketing to the wrong audience.

Creating a negative customer avatar is also just like creating your positive customer avatar.

Create a write-up narrative about your Customer Avatar

If you checked out Frank Vs Matt from Andre, you would have seen how he has narrated the customer avatar out, in detail.

It is a good way to picture how your Customer avatar would look like, if you were talking to him/her personally.

So I would recommend that you write out a narration for your customer avatar.

The first draft is not the final one

Your customer avatar is editable and tweak-able. The first draft isn’t the final draft. You can always tweak the profile depending upon your ideas about who your ideal customer or, reader is.

Keep aside at least a week to put a final touch to your buyer persona. Tweak it a per your requirement even if that needs to be done multiple times.

Don’t shy away from editing your avatar even if you have finalized it. Keep in mind that the more perfect your buyer persona is, the better results you will get.

An avatar is not only for a Customer but it is also for a reader

You might have noticed that I used “reader” a couple of times in the above paragraphs.

That is because I wanted to make sure that you understand that a customer avatar is not only for a customer or, a buyer.

If you are a content marketer or, blogger and churn out a lot of content, then the avatar can be a reader avatar.

In fact, it is important that every blogger too has a reader avatar. That way you can better market to your readers and getting better eyeballs for your content.

Use any medium to create an Avatar

Now this is an interesting question that I got from one of my students – How should you create an avatar? Should you use powerpoint or, Word to creae one? What if I cannot write?

You can create your avatar using anything. If you feel you need a template, you can download a template from one of the resources that I mentioned a little while back. But you can create one in powerpoint if you think that is what you are comfortable with. You can use Word, if that is a comfortable medium.

You can even sketch your avatar which is something that one of my friends in the blogging industry did. But I am horrible at sketching. So I had no choice but to write.

Gather data to create your Avatar

One of the most bugging problems with creating an avatar is how to know who your ideal reader/customer is.

There are 3 ways I recommend –

  1. Do a survey to check the demographics and interests
  2. Ask yourself questions on who your ideal reader/customer will be and answer those questions
  3. Use social media and reach out to your friends and relatives to gather information

If you have been into business for some time, I am sure you will have a fair idea of who your audience is. You can put together a first draft based on that and then tweak it basis the information you gather from a survey or, maybe reaching out to friends and relatives.

Do a Validation Survey to review Your Avatar

Do a survey by asking leading questions to check if you have captured the right avatar – Once you have your avatar ready, do a quick survey and ask leading questions to see if you have the right profile for your avatar.

Reviewing and validating your customer persona is important to have the right one in place.

By doing a post-creation survey, you will also be able to make changes to the persona and make it the perfect one for your content, product or, services.

Closing Thoughts

If you do not have a buyer persona or, customer avatar or, reader profile then put one together immediately. This is one big mistake that a lot of us do and can be fatal.

Once you have your persona put together, and then start marketing it the right way, you will see a huge difference in the way your audience responds to your marketing efforts.

If you have any questions about creating your Buyer Persona, don’t hesitate to write to me. You can also comment below with your thoughts, feedback and suggestions.

Thank you all for joining me today on this episode.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please do take some time out to rate the show on iTunes and provide us with a genuine review. This helps in the overall ranking of the show and will help people find the show.

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